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SPACEX'S NEXT STARSHIP ROCKET TEST GETS FAA GO-AHEAD




The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday said it issued a license for SpaceX's fourth flight of its Starship rocket system, another test mission along the company's path to building a reusable satellite launcher and moon lander. SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, is aiming to launch its nearly 400-foot-tall (122-meter), two-stage Starship as early as Thursday at 7 a.m. CDT (1200 GMT) from its rocket facilities in south Texas, from which past flights in the company's test-to-failure development campaign have launched.

Starship represents the future of SpaceX's dominant satellite launch and astronaut business. It is designed to be fully reusable and cheaper - but more powerful - than the company's workhorse Falcon 9. NASA plans to use Starship later this decade to land the first crew of astronauts on the moon since 1972. Each Starship rocket has made it farther in its testing objectives than previous tests before blowing up. The first launch in April 2023 exploded minutes after liftoff, and the most recent flight in March broke apart in Earth's atmosphere as it attempted to return from space halfway around the globe.

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